RTE Act may be modified to suit Maharashtra’s needs: Tawde

  • Puja Pednekar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Nov 25, 2014 22:32 IST

The state government is mulling over making changes to Maharashtra’s rules for implementation of the Right to Education Act (RTE) 2009 on the lines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat.

School education minister Vinod Tawde said he was planning to amend the existing RTE rules to make them more suitable for the state.

Tawde was speaking at a day-long conference organised by Shikshan Vikas Manch on Tuesday to discuss the challenges faced by government and government-aided schools.

“The Centre’s RTE Act cannot be implemented in Maharashtra,” said Tawde. “We might have to make some amendments to the rules of the Act implemented in the state.”

He added that this should have been done within three years of the Act’s enforcement when the states were given time to come up with their own rules for implementing the Act.

“How will we implement the RTE Act rules in case sugar schools (sakhar shaala) and brick kiln schools (vidbhatti shaala) which suit the needs of (the children of) migrants?” asked Tawde. “This should have been done when the Act was enforced.”

He said states such as Gujarat could be looked as an example of how the RTE rules can be modified for Maharashtra.

Gujarat has introduced new rules for recognition of private unaided schools. Instead of focusing only on input requirements specified in the Act such as classroom size, playground, and teacher-student ratio, the Gujarat RTE rules emphasised on learning outcome of students.

RTE states that the state government has to provide recognition only to those schools that meet the RTE norms.

Appendix 1 of the Gujarat rules, states that a school will only be recognised on the basis of a weighted average of four parameters.

Gujarat has also taken a flexible approach in implementation of RTE rules because class size and teacher-student ratio have not been defined in absolute terms but in relative terms.

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